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OMG 2020!

Brad Schiller • Feeding the MachinesJanuary 2020 • January 12, 2020

For only one year out of every century will the date be comprised of double digits. Chances are that you were not around the last time this happened in 1919; and I doubt you will be alive in 2121. This means that 2020 is truly a special time for those of us lucky enough to experience it. However, it also means lots of cheesy jokes about eyesight, titles and themes related to vision, and “doubling down” for all types of reasons. Hopefully you can enjoy this unique year, while also staying clear of the 20 most annoying things about the date.

‡‡         Twenty Slogans

I am dreading all the corporate slogans, titles of events, and names of shows that we are destined to see throughout the year. A slew of marketing people will wink and cheer as they come up with as many puns regarding vision, glasses, and insight.

Here are a few that I am sure you will come across:

  • See Clearly in 2020
  • A Vision for the Future
  • Best You Have Ever Seen
  • We Have a Vision
  • The View in 2020 is Clear
  • Focusing Inward
  • A Closer Look
  • Hindsight is 2020
  • A New Perspective
  • Take a Closer Look
  • Out of Sight
  • A View from the Top
  • Seeing is Believing
  • Just When You Thought You Had Seen It All
  • Focus on the Future
  • Double Take
  • A Vision Becomes a Reality
  • Looking Ahead
  • A New Vantage Point
  • Visibly Different

‡‡         Special Dates

This year is also filled with numeric symbols and alignments that are going to drive producers to book events accordingly on specific dates. Mark your calendar now, because you will likely find yourself working an event on at least one of these occasions.

  • Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020 — 0202/2020: Super Bowl LIV has already booked this date, but all the parties in support can have fun with the mirrored numbers.
  • Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020 — 02/20/2020: Wow all those twos and zeros will surely equate to the need to launch a product that day.
  • April 2020 — 4/20: For many, the entire month of April will be dedicated to the observance of all things marijuana.
  • Monday, April 20, 2020 — 4/20/2020: Cannabis enthusiasts and potheads celebrate this day every year, and will likely be mesmerized by all the 20s in the date this year.
  • Sunday, May 10, 2020 — 5/10/20: Not only is this date Mother’s day, it is also a nice sequence of numbers.
  • Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020 — 1010/2020: Pairs of tens and twenties will lead to many weddings and concerts on this special day.
  • Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020 — 10/15/20: What corporate event would not want to utilize this date based on its sequence of numbers?
  • Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020 — 10/20/2020: This one is fun to say, so why not book a show on this day?

‡‡         20 in 20

Oh yeah, you knew it was coming. We are going to see special deals, contests, goal targeting and more that is all related around 20 things within a range of 20. Maybe a weight loss program that promotes losing 20 pounds in 20 days. Or perhaps a light show that claims 20 cues every 20 seconds. In the spirit of 20 in 20, I challenge you with the following ten goals for the year:

  • Learn 20 new features on your lighting console in the next 20 days.
  • When designing your next plot, group lights in sections of 20.
  • In 2020, connect with 20 new-to-you programmers, and share knowledge with each.
  • Make it a goal to utilize 20 new lighting products within the year 2020.
  • Mix 20 new colors on your desk and merge them into your start show file.
  • Look for cheesy 2020 slogans in your work and see if you can count 20 of them throughout the year.
  • Build an effect on your console and note the difference between a rate of 20 and a rate of 2020.
  • Make a special note in your cuelist every time the number “20” appears in a cue number (20, 120, and so on). I propose: “@20”
  • Create a macro on your desk that enters the number “20” for you so that you don’t have to type a 2 then a zero. Use this to reduce keystrokes all year long.
  • For 20 random days throughout the year, eat 20 bites of your favorite food (chocolate is preferred).

‡‡         Hindsight

One of the sayings we will hear often this year is, “hindsight is 2020.” While the statement will get old quick, it is a good reminder that we can learn from our past. As this year begins, look back over 2019 and think about your programming. Where there situations where you could have programmed faster or created a better look? Did you rush through a show and not give the client your full potential? What new features have been added to your desk that you need to learn more about?

In order to progress in our careers, we must continually evaluate ourselves and make improvements. Learning new things is essential and there are multitudes of sources to guide you with your programming. Books, articles, blogs, videos, podcasts, and training sessions all provide invaluable resources for honing your craft.

Take the time to sit down and think about your programming over the last year. Then list 20 (yes 20) things that you know you need to learn about or improve upon. Next, start researching and learning. You don’t need to do them all in 20 days, but make it a goal to improve upon each throughout 2020. Then you can look back with hindsight into 2020 and be impressed with how far you advanced during this magical year.

‡‡         11111100100

Numerologists believe that 2020 equals a year of growth and potential. It is not a year for dreaming, but rather a year of accomplishment. Take this belief and run with it all year. Furthermore, the Chinese zodiac deems this year as the year of the Metal Rat. That sounds really cool, especially for the band RATT. Perhaps we will see lots of metal concerts paying homage to the furry little creatures.

People born in the year of the rat are believed to be very industrious, thrifty, diligent, and positive. We should all consider these qualities throughout the year and especially remain positive, no matter what happens. Its gonna be quite a year and I am looking forward to seeing clearly a new vision and future as the view comes into focus for a double take of a visibly different perspective and vantage point. May 2020 be the best year you have ever seen!

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